A hidden jewel at Java’s centre Amanjiwo rests in the shadows of the largest Buddhist temple complex in the world, Borobudur, which reopens to visitors from 1 March 2023.
Taking Aman’s service to the roads, Aman Driving Journeys provide the opportunity for guests to drive impeccable sports and luxury cars, SUVs, or their own vehicle in the world’s most dramatic locations. On supported five-day trips, guests will spend three-days traversing the incredible landscapes that surround Aman properties with fully customisable itineraries. From three to five hours of driving per day, guests are free to set off in their own time, exploring and pausing on-route as the mood takes them, with Amanjena, Aman Venice or Amanzoe as their base.
Curated itineraries are available for guided group journeys of three cars or more, while individual car journeys are enhanced with bespoke routes tailored to guests unique travel desires.
Personalised iPhones provided to each guest will recommend off-the-beaten-track coffee shops, galleries and photo opportunities while lunch stops range from Aman picnics and local dining experiences in authentic eateries, to exquisite fine dining when the opportunity arises.
These social events are ideal for like-minded friends and family with an interest in experiencing motoring combined with the Aman lifestyle.
After a restful night spent in the magical setting of Amanjena, set off for the first day’s drive, towards Ouarzazate. Translating literally to ‘city without noise’, the location is famous for being the set of many films, home to Atlas Studios. On the picturesque drive, the Unesco site of Ait Ben Haddou – a fortified village and great example of Moroccan earthen clay architecture that provides a perfect stop-off opportunity before arriving in Ouarzazate just in time for lunch and an afternoon of exploration in this unique location.
Separating the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert and extending 2,500km across north western Africa, the Atlas Mountains form the backdrop to the second day of driving. Following breakfast at Amanjena, head towards the mountain range for breathtaking views, before ascending to Kasbah du Toubkal for lunch. The descent back towards Marrakesh makes for a scenic afternoon’s driving back to Amanjena.
The adventure begins with an alternative mode of transport, a morning helicopter flight departs from Amanjena where upon landing near Dades Gorge, the driving will commence. Traverse the rugged gorges and its dramatic vistas all the way to the Todra River. Here, a picnic lunch in ultimate seclusion awaits. Return by helicopter to Amanjena for a final evening spent sharing stories of days gone by.
Surrounded by 360-degree views of olive groves Amanzoe is an inspiring setting from which to begin a driving itinerary. On day one, head off towards the Tripoli Mountains - where races in the World Rally Championship are held. Admire the epic scenery along the way before a welcome coffee break in a traditional Greek village. Arrive in Paralios Astos – a quaint port town - where, in the small harbour, a boat awaits serving a fresh, authentic Greek lunch before an afternoon dip in the sea.
Island hoping is one of the best ways to experience the Peloponnese. Set out along the coastline, with the first stop off at Galata – a traditional Greek coastal town. Park the car and take a short two-minute boat ride to the small island of Poros where an opportunity to explore one of the region’s hidden gems awaits. Back on the road, take the coastal route to Metochi, where a private Riva takes guests across to Hydra. After lunch overlooking the port, wander the streets of the island before heading back across the water for a scenic drive back to Amanzoe.
Wake to a leisurely breakfast before an hour’s drive to the ancient theatre of Epidavros. Built in the 4thCentury BC, the theatre is renowned as one of the best-preserved Ancient Greek structures and for its incredible acoustics. Spend time exploring this magnificent site, before enjoying a packed lunch prepared by the Amanzoe chefs, or alternatively, in one of the restaurants nearby, overlooking Kólpos Epidávrou bay. Take a slow drive back to the resort, for a final evening at Amanzoe.
Rosa Alpina, Italy
Spectacular natural scenery extends for thousands of miles in every direction from Rosa Alpina, which lies in the village of San Cassiano at the heart of the Dolomites. Here, some of the world’s most inviting roads for driving await. Wake up surrounded by the Unesco-protected mountains before embarking on a tour of the famous ski area of the Sella Ronda. Twisty alpine tracks lead guests along this renowned mountain pass, where lunch is enjoyed at Il Capriolino – a restaurant that champions local ingredients from the region. Return to Rosa Alpina for an evening spent retreating in the hotel’s expansive wellness centre, re-energising for the next day’s drive.
A charming base for exploring Italy’s Tyrol province, the second day of driving takes guests to the city of Bolzano – an urban solace set in a picturesque valley and encircled by rolling vineyards. Known as the gateway to the Dolomites, Bolzan’s cobbled streets and lively squares can be explored at leisure and offer an inviting place to stop for lunch while taking in the surrounding vistas. Classic Tyrolean cuisine can be enjoyed in one of many authentic eateries, before an optional visit to the Bolzano Museum of Archeology to see the natural mummy of ‘Ötzi the iceman’, believed to have lived between 3400 and 3100 BCE. Return to Rosa Alpina, where dinner can be enjoyed in one of three dining venues, including the celebrated three Michelin Star restaurant, St. Hubertus.
The third day of driving takes a more leisurely approach, allowing guests to explore the mountain villages they pass along the way. Whether visiting in summer or autumn, the drive allows multiple stop-off and incredible photo opportunities, while the lunch destination of Da Aurelio awaits following an exhilarating drive along the Giau Pass. With its impressive views at over 2000-metres in altitude, the road is located at the centre of a vast mountain pasture. Guests are free to drive at their own pace, returning to Rosa Alpina before dusk, just in time for sunset drinks at The Rosa Alpina Cabin, the hotel’s very own private hillside solace.
Aman Venice, Italy
While the floating city might not be the most obvious location for a driving experience, Aman Venice provides the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding regions. On the first morning, a short water-taxi ride takes guest to the mainland where the driving begins. Venture through Padua, and along the edge of the dramatic Eugenean hills. Fiorano – home to Ferrari’s private racing track – is the final destination, where lunch can be enjoyed in the iconic Ferrari restaurant before an optional tour of the Ferrari museum. Return to Venice to enjoy the evening’s atmosphere
Not far from Venice, Lake Garda is one of Italy’s greatest lakes. Following a water-transfer, head west to the lake, passing through wine-producing regions and stopping in Valpolicella for coffee. The second half of the drive takes guests through famous tunnels, used in the James Bond film Casino Royale before lunch at a hillside castle in Salo. A town on the banks of the lake, Salo has a long promenade perfect for a post-lunch stroll and admiring Garda’s vistas. Return to Venice mid-afternoon, with a stop in Verona – the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
On the final day, the journey takes guests north to the Unesco-protected Dolomite mountains. Once on the mainland, the drive takes place along the Sella Ronda one of the best driving roads in Europe which loops the Sella mountain range. Following an exhilarating morning drive, lunch is enjoyed in Cortina D’Ampezzo – a town also known as ‘The Queen of the Dolomites’ - before heading back for evening drinks on the Palazzo of Aman Venice.